Export boom in financial and related professional services across Britain

A new TheCityUK report shows British financial and related professional services enjoyed a record year of exports in 2016, up by 15.8% to £95.7bn. This success marks a departure from four years of relative stagnation in the industry’s export growth, with exports previously increasing by just 0.9% a year on average.

The report, ‘Exporting from across Britain’, is the first time the regional distribution of financial and related professional services exports has been published. It shows that nearly all parts of the country saw double digit growth in financial and related professional services exports in 2016. The greatest increase in exports was recorded in the North East, which grew by 29% year on year.

Anjalika Bardalai, Chief Economist and Head of Research, TheCityUK, said,

“While London is an important piece of the puzzle, over half the industry’s exports come from other parts of the country. In 2016, industry exports saw double digit growth in nearly every part of the UK. It’s this collective national contribution which helps to make the UK the world’s leading international financial centre.”

The report shows that the South East was the largest exporter of financial and related professional services outside London in 2016 (£11.6bn), followed by Scotland (£7.2bn) and the North West (£6.6bn).

Taken together, Scotland and the North West alone exported financial services worth almost three quarters of the financial services exports of the whole of France.

The UK is the world’s leading net exporter of financial services, with a trade surplus of $77bn (£57bn) in 2016. This is nearly twice that of the next leading country, the US, at $41bn (£31bn).

Region/Nation

2015 FRPS* exports (£bn)

2016 FRPS* exports (£bn)

Increase

London

39.7

46.6

17%

South East

10.5

11.6

10%

Scotland

6.6

7.2

9%

North West

5.9

6.6

13%

East of England

4.2

5.2

23%

South West

3.8

4.6

19%

Yorkshire and the Humber

3.3

4.0

22%

West Midlands

3.4

3.9

14%

Wales

2.0

2.2

11%

East Midlands

1.9

2.2

17%

North East

1.3

1.7

29%

Great Britain**

82.6

95.7

15.8 %

*Financial and related professional services (finance, insurance, accountancy, legal services, management consultancy and business services).
** Data unavailable for Northern Ireland
services sector for the existing, heavily integrated, cross-border flows in finance to continue in order to sustain jobs and growth across the whole of Europe.